I'm watching the light recede back through the windows of my empty, downtown apartment. This apartment was the only one we looked at together, we signed the lease as soon as it was waved in front of our faces. And who wouldn't have. It has so many windows. I often find myself on Zillow or Craigslist looking for apartments I don't need. I quickly swipe through the pictures of blank walls and boring floors to find the windows. Nothing says home like huge, open windows, perfectly framing the world like a moving picture on the wall.
These windows are small, but there are many of them. I found it odd at first, that every few feet of the wall is interrupted by a small, long window. But now I revel in the 360 lighting, bouncing off every surface, and empty space.
I've decided not to buy furniture to replace what he took, at least not yet. I want the space to feel what I feel, superimposing emotion on my surroundings, empty. There are so many avenues I could take in filling it. I could buy all new, factory made furniture and quickly cover the void with the smell of plastic. Or I could save and buy sturdier, no assembly required type "pieces" and slowly cover the bare floors. For now I'll fill it with overtime at work, and time spent other places.
Most will find it odd for me to grieve over a decision for which I alone pulled the trigger. How can you be devastated by something you've chosen. Well they will not ever have to break this break up to young, closeted David.
Middle School David use to have day dreams at his desk, staring off at the clock while it beat on in circular rhythm. He dreamed of what being gay might actually look like if he could get everyone around him on board. If everyone could agree that it was ok, he could date like any normal teenager. In his dreams a boy with brown hair and a cheesy grin would wait for him after class and ask how his day went. They'd hold hands while walking home and share dreams and fears until they knew the other like the back of their hands.
I've been chasing those day dreams today. Watching the light reach through in the morning to wake my half drunk mind. I sat here and looked back through every face, of every person I've dated or wanted to date, where was the boy? Where had the dream gone?
My marriage isn't over because I didn't meet and fall for a wonderful man. It's over because neither of us were prepared for what that meant. We have love for one another but could never translate that into making the other feel that love. I know pulling that trigger was for both of us, but that blow has woken me.
I see now what not being with him means. It means not being with anyone. When I come home from work and throw my keys on the counter, the sound now fills a larger area. It ricochets through every room and bounces back to me louder than before, I am alone.
I have never lived alone. I grew up with a twin that I shared a room with most of my life. I moved in with my husband at 19. I've never known the supposed freedom of solitude. And I can only muster fear in the face of it.
When I was in fourth grade my dad built a ramp for a job. The ramp ended up not working out for whatever client he had made it for and so he took it home, to what ever home we were renting at the time, and built my brother and I the biggest play house I had ever seen. We played on that huge structure for hours everyday. We'd play make believe, or jump off the the top onto the trampoline, or even just sit in it and eat lunch.
I remember very vividly one day playing in our playhouse by myself. I can't recall where Micah was, but I hated the feeling of being alone in a space meant to be shared. I hate playing by myself and more importantly I hated being by myself.
That day along the wood rail of the ramp bridge was a long line of huge brown ants. All in single file working towards a goal, a goal centered in togetherness. Me being a fourth grader(and not the nicest one) I picked up one of the large ants. He ran around my palm as if searching for the rest of his party. Frantically searching the deep crevasses of my hand, I couldn't get him to stay in one spot. He went in between my fingers and around the back of my wrist until I became just as frantic to get him off of me. I flung my hand away from my body in reflex and right then and there made a forever memory. A single moment in my life with no significance that I can still remember to this day. I can see now in my dark vacant apartment the body of this ant floating in midair, flying backwards with all six of his little arms swimming to catch himself. I still feel an odd pang of guilt for that ant. He had people, he had a someone, and because of my irreverence to that, he died with out them.
You see my biggest fear isn't that I'll be alone forever, it's that I'll die before I find that dream boy. I'll die by myself in this dead space between small windows and no one will know. No one will worry. Divorcing my husband has been a lot harder than anything I've done thus far in life. But I do hope at some point I also divorce the space, the empty.